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Saint Patrick's Day and it's History
Saint Patrick's Day and it's History
Saint Patrick's Day is named after Saint Patrick[circa AD 387-461] he was the most recognized patron Saint in Ireland. On the 17th day of March we will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Did you know that Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday? Well it is. It began as a Catholic holiday and then in early 17th century it became an official feast day. It has become more of a secular celebration of the Ireland culture. Although it is still celebrated in the United States as well.
In the following areas it is a public holiday.
Republic of Ireland,Northern Ireland,Newfoundland,Labradon and Montserrat. It is widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora in Great Britain,Canada,United States,New Zealand,Australia,Argentina and Montserrat among many others.
Saint Patrick was born in the 4th century in Roman Britain to a wealthy Roman British family. His Grandfather and his Father were church deacons. When he was just 16 years old,he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. Irish Raiders were the known kidnappers of Patrick. The exact location where they held him is unknown. Some believe that he was possibly being held in Mayo. He was told by God in a dream,to flee Mayo and return to Britain by a boat. This is what he told in confession when he returned to Britain. When he returned to Britain he joined the church in Gaul and studied to become a Priest. He said he was called back to Ireland in 432,to Christianize Irish people from their native polytheism. As told by common folklore they said he used the Shamrock to help explain Trinity to the Irish people.
He died on March 17th 461 after nearly 30 years of evangelism. According to tradition he was laid to rest at Down Patrick. Patrick is held in esteem by the Irish Church. He endured as the main character of Irish Christianity.
The original color associated with Saint Patrick was not green it was blue. With the association with Saint Patrick's Day the color changed to green. As early as the 17th century Shamrocks and green ribbons were worn to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Since Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to teach about the Trinity,the tradition began to catch on. In 1798 Irish soldiers wore green uniforms to try and make a political statement,on March 17th in hopes of catching the publics attention. The wearing of the green,meaning to wear the Shamrock,get's it's name from a song of the same name. The Shamrock is the reason that we wear green to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.
In the ninth and tenth centuries,Saint Patrick's Day was being celebrated in Europe. Saint Patrick later became known as the patron of Ireland. In the early 1600's Saint Patrick's feast day was placed on the liturgical calendar,all because of Waterford born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding. After this Saint Patrick's Day became a holy celebration of obligation in Ireland for Roman Catholics. If Saint Patrick's Day falls on the same day as a Salem unties day such as Palm Sunday,then the day is celebrated at a different time. This happened in 1940 and in 2008. In 1940 it was celebrated on April 3rd. In 2008 it was celebrated on March 14th. Although the secular celebration still took place on March 17th. Saint Patrick's Day will not fall again on Holy week until 2160.
Saint Patrick's Day becomes and official holiday in 1903. It was reviewed by the Minister of Defense Desmond Fitzgerald. The holiday remains a religious observance for both the Church of Ireland and to the Roman Catholic Church. Ireland was showcased at it's culture in 1990 to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and it's culture. The Government set up a group called St. Patrick's Festival with the aim to. -Show St. Patrick's Day as one of the greatest Festivals in the world. Plus promote excitement through out Ireland via innovation. -For people to join in and attend the celebrations. -To promote Ireland as a creative sophisticated professional Country with new appeal as we approached the Millennium The first festival was held on March 17th 1996. In 1997 it was a 3 day event. By 2000 it had become a 4 day celebration. In 2006,the celebration had become a 5 days long,with more than 675,000 people attended the parade in 2009. The 5 day festival had close to one million visitors that attended. With outdoor concerts and events,including fireworks.
Christian leaders from Ireland have expressed their concern about the secularization of Saint Patrick's Day. In the Word Magazines in March 2007 issue. Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote."It's time to reclaim St. Patrick's Day as a Church festival." He questioned the need for "Mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and said that it is time to bring the piety and fun together.
Saint Patrick's Day is however celebrated in the United States by the Irish and non Irish. It is one of the busiest days for bars and restaurants. Many people wear green clothing items. Traditionally if you are not wearing green,you get pinched affectionately.
Have a great Saint Patrick's Day.
Hi, Rhonda. Wonderful write-up! My grandmother is full-blooded Irish and I believe her family came from County Cork, Ireland. She loves celebrating St. Patrick's Day and tells me that there was a story of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland...she claims that her relatives said they never saw a snake in Ireland because of Saint Patrick. I don't know if that is true, but it sure made for a good story when I was a kid! Thanks for sharing!